Innovation in action


“Creating and fostering an environment conducive to innovation can seem like alchemy – with just the right mix of tax incentives and business-friendly policies and access to seed capital you might, just might, create an innovation economy. But even when it has been created, it needs constant nurturing, as the US is discovering.
Considerable effort has been put in to diagnosing the problems and offering prescriptions, but a recent ebook by the prominent Canadian-American economist Alex Tabarrok does both. Launching the Innovation Renaissance: A New Path to Bring Smart Ideas to Market Fast is a compelling attempt to codify the areas to focus on in order to encourage greater innovation. As a template, Tabarrok refers to Renaissance Florence, a cauldron of innovation, in which ‘we see five factors propelling that city’s innovation: patents, prizes, education, global markets, and cosmopolitanism, an openness to ideas from around the world’. The question Launching the Innovation Renaissance seeks to answer is whether these principles are applicable today…”

Part of my interview with the fascinating US economist and Marginal Revolution blogger Alex Tabarrok is in today’s Irish Times Innovation magazine, you can read it here.

His new ebook, Launching the Innovation Renaissance, is a digital-only release from TED books and is in itself a good example of disruptive innovation and how the publishing industry is likely to undergo big changes in the next few years – those over-long, padded policy and current affairs books that have been inflated to 400 pages at the behest of a publisher are increasingly likely to surface as much more concise, focused ebooks. Thank God for that say I – more thoughts on the issue at the Innovation blog here.

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